Dumb sprinklers turned smart-ish

(Rob) #1

I have an OLD in-ground sprinkler system with a timer system that uses those old red diodes for the display, kinda like the ones you’d see on a calculator from the '70s. While I do drool over the Rachio and Rainbird setups, I decided to see what I could do with that old timer.

I set the dumb timer to run every zone sequentially every day at 7am. Then I wired in a relay (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LESCI2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) to break the common to the sprinkler solenoids. I use Webcore to log the rain every day, add it up, add in the forecasted rain over the next couple days, and only turn on the smart plug to the relay if the rain is below a certain threshold and the sprinklers haven’t run in the last ‘n’ days.

The relay essentially works like a typical rain sensor, except I have full control over whether it’s on or off. I can’t change the time of day or length of time the sprinklers run without walking all the way (gasp!) to the timer to change it, but that should be a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. I can choose to run the sprinklers more or less often by adjusting the number of days between runs or the trigger for the amount of rain.


(Shane) #2

I did something similar with a mimo 2 I ran my rain sensor to the inputs so i get a alert that its raining at my house then ran the rain sensor inputs on the srpinkler system threw the normally open relay on the mimo 2. If the rain sensor closes it sends me a message and opens the relay which shuts off the sprinklers for rain. I have tried multiple rain sensors and they all turn the sprinkler system on too early after it rains even at the highest setting. So I have core once the input from the rain sensor closes and the relay opens to turn off sprinkler not to close relay or turn sprinklers back on for 36 hours. I have the other relay on the mimo 2 interrupt the valve to the backyard so when I have a paddle switch on it at the patio it tells my home the dog is outside and wont allow backyard sprinklers to run.
With this the relays able to turn on sprinklers with phone or google home. hey google is it going to rain to day , hey google is the sprinkler system on or off, hey google turn off sprinklers.
I too would love fully automatic sprinkler system but that would be to easy.

(Rich w) #3

There is an IFTTT function that is connected to wemo outlets which powers down your old sprinkler system when rain is in the forecast. It was a bullet proof cheap add on… the time and clock setting where maintain by an internal battery in the sprinkler controller… it was a cheap automation that I used for two years… I eventually added a rachio which honestly wasn’t worth the effort/time based on where I live… I’m more interested in my sprinklers running every day it isn’t raining very saving water. There is a”cool” factor of telling Alexa to turn on zone 3 for 15minutes or turn the sprinkler on if you detect motion in the yard after 11:30 pm near your garden…